Global Ministries' new building on Ponce de Leon in Atlanta. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.
By Linda Bloom
United Methodist News Service
During an Oct. 20 dedication service and reception, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries officially marked its new status as an Atlanta institution.
The establishment of the mission agency’s headquarters and U.S. regional office in the renovated buildings of Grace United Methodist Church, 458 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, is the result of an October 2014 decision to move from its longtime home in New York.
“We have worked, lived and slept transition for the last two years and now to be here and to be able to celebrate is just something very special,” Thomas Kemper, top executive for Global Ministries, told the invited crowd of area church leaders and members, partners and city representatives.
The dedication for the United Methodist Church Global Mission Center Building was livestreamed as part of the first meeting of the agency’s 2016-2020 board of directors. The celebration included greetings from representatives of the Atlanta area and church leaders and musical offerings from the young singers of the Atlanta Music Project AMPlify Zaban Choir.
Bishop Lawson Bryan, South Georgia Conference, noted that Methodism came early to Georgia when John and Charles Wesley landed near Savannah in 1736. “When John Wesley set his British foot on American soil in Georgia, he took the first step in what has become the global reach of The United Methodist Church,” he said.
Churches in South Georgia are grateful “for the way Global Ministries has resourced us for decades,” including recent calls from the United Methodist Committee on Relief during the threat by Hurricane Matthew.
“At the same time, we want to offer our own resources to Global Ministries,” the bishop added. “For instance, South Georgia is a leader in sustainable agriculture. Practices developed here can be invested into people throughout the world.”
Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson of the North Georgia Conference, vowed “to pledge all the resources of the North Georgia Annual Conference in partnership with Global Ministries.” The conference presented the mission agency with a large decorative nameplate made by woodworker Efton Arnold from Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta.
Haupert-Johnson, who is one of the bishop's assigned to serve on the Global Ministries board of directors, said that part of her episcopal role is to build relationships between the conference and the mission agency, Emory University and other seminaries and institutions. “I’ve never been so excited to have such an assignment,” she added.
North Georgia clergy, laity, staff, and our bishop, served lunch to the Global Ministries board of directors and staff on the final day of their Atlanta meeting. See photos from the lunch here.
Read the full original UMNS story at http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/mission-agency-completes-atlanta-move.